Recently a chamber of commerce member, Mark Mawhinney, and I were discussing what it means to be successful in business and we got onto the subject of what makes a good employer? We agreed that business success is more than just making money. Every entrepreneur hopes to get a good return on their investment but supporting their community, gaining respect from employees and peers are also key factors on the list. Our conclusion was that the successful business leaders/employers we’ve met are the ones that not only have achieved the goals listed above but also have a sincere desire to offer employees opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
Mark told me a story of how after working many years, one of his employees called him from a car dealership to tell him how he had just bought a very special gift for his wife. Why was this significant? The employee, years before during an interview, mentioned that buying this special gift was a key goal in his life. The fact that he had finally achieved his dream, thanks to the opportunities provide by Mark’s company meant so much to both parties. I could see pleasure, the joy in Mark’s eyes when he was telling me of how important it meant for this fellow to share his excitement with Mark (his boss). To Mark, this story identifies what it means to him to be a good employer. Having a role in helping an employee achieve his or her goals is truly a measurement of success.
Business owners are in a very unique position. Not only can the jobs they create give people a chance to earn a living, but when they create company cultures that also support and nurture, everyone benefits. Let’s face it – work is work and economic conditions affect what a company can afford to pay its people but when you have a great company culture, everyone wins no matter what. Employees are more productive, get along better with each other, have healthier personal lives, are friendlier to customers and have more loyalty to companies and their owners when they feel “they” work for a good employer. Talk about “win win”.
I’m lucky to have experienced many job opportunities, been both an owner and a “working guy” and have had the good fortune to work for a great company for over two decades. I think I have a really good idea of what a good employer looks like. I know what it means to work in a good company culture, what a supportive atmosphere feels like and what having the chance to achieve goals and offer my family a decent lifestyle means – thanks to the opportunities my employer has created for me. Not sure if you believe me? The proof is out there – look at the Accent Inns example. Accent Inns has been recognized several times for treating employees,( team members), with respect and providing a caring culture that has kept over half of the staff with us for over a decade and many for even longer. Recently the employees rewarded the ownership (Mandy and Terry Farmer) by ranking Accent Inns as one of the best companies to work for in BC. Although all the management and staff contribute to the “family” culture, it is the owners, our leaders, that set the tone, create opportunities and support ideas and company decisions that indeed make them a “Good Employer”.
BC is full of stories like Mark’s and Accent Inns. I for one am proud to know that these “entrepreneurs” look at ROI (return on investment) in terms of more than dollars and cents, but also in the “personal capital” they gain by helping others around them.
Note: we’ve launched a Facebook question on the Accent Inn Facebook Page about: Love to hear from everyone..What do you think “makes a good employer”?